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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Rangers at Panthers, Game 6: Rempe Out, Florida Try to End Series

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The Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise is dressed up and ready to go for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final tonight. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

FORT LAUDERDALE — Although the Florida Panthers will ice the same lineup for the third straight game tonight, the New York Rangers will make a ‘big’ change with Matt Rempe apparently scratched after being handcuffed to the bench in Game 5.

The Rangers are expected to throw everything at Florida tonight as the Panthers can move on to the Stanley Cup Final with a win in Sunrise.

Florida has played a lot of close-out games over the years  — and look to move on tonight.

Saturday’s Game 6 against New York would mark Florida’s ninth game with the chance to clinch a series in the past two years.

The Panthers are 5-3 in those first eight games with a 2-2 record in close-out games this season.

“You want to get good at it,” coach Paul Maurice said. “We got a lot of practice at it.“

The Panthers know it won’t be easy just because they are riding a comeback win that gave them a 3-2 lead in the series on Thursday.

They dropped Game 4 of the first round and Game 5 of the second round against desperate Tampa Bay and Boston teams on the brink of elimination.

Florida needs to match that desperation with some of its own to get the job done and clinch its second trip to the Stanley Cup Final in as many years.

“I’m not a huge believer in momentum at all,” Maurice said. “So both teams have an energy source here tonight.

“They have the advantage of desperation and we have the desire. Both teams want to play in an intelligent frequency that you want to operate in. So, you want to make sure you’re not below it where desperation or desire can make you tight. At the same time, you can operate above that band where your risk profile changes.

“For them, it would be the idea of making plays regardless of the cost and for us it would be trying to make that one killer play. Both teams have an energy source, we’re going to try to adhere to our identity as best as possible and you want to stay as close to the upper limit of that intelligence band.”

For the Panthers that means playing the same physical, defensively minded style they have been playing all year.

“We have to treat it like a regular game,” Brandon Montour said. “Especially in this series, each series is so crucial, but again, this is a team that is on the brink of their season being finished. So, we expect their best.

“It will be a nice, loud building for us and they’re going to get our best as well.”

— The starting goalies (again): Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Igor Shesterkin.

— Rempe appears to be out after playing just 2:43 in Game 5 and not getting off the bench with 6:08 left in the second period. Jonny Broszinski is expected to play his first game of the series in his place.

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
FLORIDA PANTHERS (ATL1) V. NEW YORK RANGERS (MET1)
Panthers Lead Best-of-7 Series 3-2
GAME 6

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS (3-2) LINES

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

17 Evan Rodrigues // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

23 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 10 Vladimir Tarasenko

18 Steven Lorentz // 82 Kevin Stenlund // 8 Kyle Okposo

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

77 Niko Mikkola //  62 Brandon Montour

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson // 7 Dmitry Kulikov

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

41 Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Nick Cousins, Ryan Lomberg, Tobias Bjornfot, Uvis Balinskis, Josh Mahura, Jonah Gadjovich, Spencer Knight, Rasmus Asplund, Mike Benning, Magnus Hellberg, Matt Kiersted, Will Lockwood, Mackie Samoskevich, Justin Sourdif, Patrick Giles

PROJECTED NEW YORK RANGERS (2-3) LINES

20 Chris Kreider // 93 Mika Zibanejad // 72 Filip Chytil

10 Artemi Panarin // 16 Vincent Trocheck // 13 Alexis Lafreniere

96 Jack Roslovic // 91 Alex Wennberg // 24 Kaapo Kakko

50 Will Cuylle // 21 Barclay Goodrow // XX Jonny Broszinski

55 Ryan Lindgren // 23 Adam Fox

79 K’Andre Miller // 8 Jacob Trouba

56 Erik Gustafsson // 4 Braden Schneider

31 Igor Shesterkin

30 Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Matt Rempe, Zac Jones, Chad Ruhwedel, Adam Edstrom, Blake Wheeler, Alex Belzile, Brett Berard, Anton Blidh, Ben Harpur, Dylan Garand, Jake Leschyshyn, Connor Mackey, Victor Mancini, Brennan Othmann, Tyler Pitlick, Matthew Robertson, Brandon Scanlin, Adam Sykora

Injured: Jimmy Vesey (shoulder)

New York Rangers Lines Courtesy NHL.Com

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